Happy Birthday Sara

Twenty-four years ago I left the hospital with a new beautiful baby girl. Our doctor refused to tell us whether we were having a boy or a girl because he wanted it to be a surprise. But, I knew before I entered the hospital that I would have a girl and that her name would be Sara without an h. She’d visited me in a dream about four years before she was born. I knew she would be a wise, strong-willed, bright-eyed girl with striking blonde hair and I knew we would turn out to be … [Read more...]

Scrapbooking — One thing I did right

Like everybody, I spend too much time worrying about what I do wrong or what I don't do well enough. For today, I'm going to focus on a few things I've done right. One of those things  was creating scrapbooks of our family life. I may not have been the craftiest, most artistic scrapbooker in the universe, but I preserved my kids' childhoods and my own memories in archival quality books. My favorite pages are the ones with close-up photos  -- the ones that capture a mood, a moment, a … [Read more...]

We said yes!

As many of you know, my daughter Annie spent part of the summer in Africa. She came home on a Thursday. Her boyfriend, Josh, flew here Friday and stayed at her friend's house. (Thank you SKN!) Then, Saturday morning, he surprised her by proposing at Eastern Market on Capitol Hill. If I'd had any doubts about this marriage idea before, they were quickly washed away when I saw the joy in Annie's face when she spun around to see him standing behind her with a bouquet of … [Read more...]

How to Motivate Kids

A couple of weeks ago, my neighbor asked me to write a blog about how to motivate kids to get good grades. She asked me how I motivated my kids. I had to think about it for a minute to remember, then I squirmed a little. "Money," I said. I honestly don't know whether our offers of cash motivated them, but we tried it. Our plan was to push them a little harder to get As. So we paid a premium for As, less for Bs and Zippo for grades below a B. I'm afraid our system turned out … [Read more...]

Enough is Enough

At every transition in my life, I get restless, thinking I should be doing more. When the kids used to start school in the fall, I felt an urgent need to pack my life with something more meaningful than what I was doing. It didn't matter that I might have organized a new early morning club at the school to teach elementary students how to produce a newspaper or volunteered to be the room mom in two classrooms, taken on the social director job for our neighborhood and organized a party with … [Read more...]